Is there a reason?

Posted: January 10, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Science fiction

Today’s exercise is about destiny. These are two characters I just made up, from a story I was fiddling with about a global power blackout.

Hours later, the kids were asleep, and the dogs had settled down in between us or on us. Chipper had snuck his way under one of the blankets; I could see the rottweiler’s nose sticking out from the top. The fire was getting low. The room already started to feel colder, and I wished we had bought those double insulated windows when we bought the house.

My wife huddled close to me. “Do you think this was meant to happen?” she whispered.

I was half awake. “What do you mean?”

“The solar flare. Do you think it was destiny? That this is part of… God’s plan, a greater purpose?”

I really didn’t want to unlock from our embrace – it was keeping me warm – but I had to scratch my head and think about her question. “It doesn’t matter to me if it is. I’ve got four people to keep warm and keep safe. If it’s part of God’s plan, he’s not telling me what it is, so I’ve got bigger things to worry about.”

“I was just thinking… we got to rely so much on all the little electronic bells and whistles. Maybe we tipped the scales too far, and nature’s throwing them back where they ought to be.”

“Do you think nature had it in for the dinosaurs, too?”

“Do you think it’s totally random?”

I shrugged. “The sun’s eight light-minutes away, which is really bloody far. I can’t see where anything we do on this little rock is going to affect what the sun does.”

She was silent for a few minutes, then said, simply, “I think it’s connected.”


“Yeah. Not a big, cosmic web of destiny type way, but something more simple. I think it’s just what we needed, and it’s about time that it happened.” She stretched under the covers, and settled in closer to me. “If you eat junk food too long, it’s going to make you sick. If you drive your car too fast, sooner or later it’s going to break down.

“Back when I was in high school, I fell in with a bad crowd. I mean I was headed towards being a groupie for a metal band and not much else.”

My wife, ER nurse, and one of the smartest people I ever met… a burnout?

“One night, we get into a drunk driving accident…”

I never heard this story.

“…one of my friends is bleeding, and I mean bleeding out, right there in front of me. Screaming. This guy is seventeen and he’s dying in front of me. I still don’t know how I did it, but I got the wound under control. The EMT’s and the ER doctor both told me that I saved his life.” She looked me in the eyes. There wasn’t much light in the room, but I felt her eyes more than saw them. “It made more… sense… than anything I’d ever done. That’s when I decided to go to nursing school.”


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